Africa 28.11.2016 12:43 pm

Kenya Airports Authority reopens runway after temporary closure

The Boeing Stearman aircraft which made a forced landing at JKIA Nairobi late Sunday. It was taking part in the Vintage Air Rally across Africa. PHOTO: Facebook/Vintage Air Rally

The Boeing Stearman aircraft which made a forced landing at JKIA Nairobi late Sunday. It was taking part in the Vintage Air Rally across Africa. PHOTO: Facebook/Vintage Air Rally

An aircraft is said to have landed on its belly and veered off the runway.

The Kenya Airports Authority late on Sunday reopened the runway at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, following the crash-landing of an aircraft that was taking part in the Vintage Air Rally on Sunday afternoon.

KAA posted on their Facebook page at midnight that the runway at JKIA was open and operations at the airport had resumed.

“Thank you for being patient with us. Kindly check the status of your flight with your respective airline,” said KAA to passengers whose flights had been delayed following the closure after the crash.

An earlier KAA post stated: “UPDATE: Aircraft has safely been evacuated, cleaning & inspection of the JKIA runway currently under way. Runway expected to be opened in 10mins.”

The aircraft is said to have landed on its belly and veered off the runway, but that none of its passengers were hurt.

Posting on their Facebook page, Vintage Air Rally said that one of the teams called Team Eagle in a Boeing Stearman aircraft had suffered total engine failure and made a forced landing at
JKIA Nairobi.

“We are delighted and relieved to say both crew are uninjured, but the aircraft is irreparably damaged … We would like to repeat that both crews are unharmed and safe.”

The crew of the damaged aircraft is an Irish father, John Ordway, and his daughter Isabella who were taking part in a cross-Africa rally.

They escaped unhurt after crash-landing their 1930s biplane on the way to Kenya’s capital Nairobi as part of an annual vintage air rally.

The Vintage Air Rally organisers went ahead with the air show in the Nairobi National Park, saying it was a huge success.

Aviators are racing 13 000 kilometres across Africa in vintage planes from as far back as the 1920s and 30s. The race began from the Greek island of Crete on November 11 for
an epic race across 10 countries. They will finish the race in Cape Town, South Africa.

The adventurous air rally saw the teams become the first group of aircraft to land at Egypt’s Giza pyramids in 80 years.

In Kenya, they flew their vintage planes in two air shows. The first one was at Hells Gate National Park in Nakuru, and the other was above Nairobi’s famed National Park, where wildlife
roam freely within the parks precincts that border residential estates, as well as a small aircraft airport.

Before coming to Kenya, the teams had been detained in Ethiopia for two days following a misunderstanding with the authorities there.

 

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